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October update

by Richard Rowland

The committee has been continuing the essential work to ensure we are in position to have a great 2019 season. You should now have received the proposed changes for the constitution and 2019 rules for review and feedback. We are always happy to hear your opinions and answer any questions, so do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the committee if you have any.

The EGM is scheduled for 18th November 2019 at 8pm. It will be held online so our members can attend with ease all over the country. Details on how to attend, and how to vote if you can not attend will be sent out to all members soon.

Also, the new scoring system that is going to be used was published this month. The committee believes it will make the season more competitive and fairer, while still rewarding pilots for doing well at larger events. If you have any questions regarding the points system, please get in touch.

Gavin Syme has been elected as the Scottish Secretary and is the newest member of the committee. Gavin is a great asset to the team and will help us build the relationships with our Scottish pilots.

Discussions have started regarding the 2019 British Championship. Topics such as venues, dates and pilot numbers are all being discussed. Do we want less pilots at the BC? Do we want to bring the BC earlier in the year to try and reduce the weather risk? Do we want to move to an indoor venue to mitigate the weather altogether? As always, your thoughts an opinions matter to us so let us know what you think.

Discussions with the FAI are moving forwards and we had two pilots accepted to attend the World Championship currently being held in Shenzen. Unfortunately, due to the time constraints the pilots were not able to make it. Now communications are open we will be doing everything we can to make sure that TeamGB get to represent at next years event. So watch this space.

Finally, Will Annison has joined the committee as Event Safety and Technical Director. We are very happy to have Will support the association with his experience and knowledge and believe he will bring lots of value and support for all of the race directors. Making races better for all involved.

An Interview With Richard Bloxam of Delta Hawks

by Benjamin Blackburn

By Chris Morley

     

Drone racing clubs are the lifeblood of the hobby. They bring pilots together and they sharpen their skills and play host to the phenomenon that is drone racing. This is the first in a series of interviews by BFPVRA with the people behind the clubs and our hobby. What better place to start than the Delta Hawks club and Mr Richard Bloxam.  

BFPVRA: “Delta Hawks has a great reputation. Apart from the name, what makes it so good?”    

 

Richard Bloxam “Haha, I didn’t realise it was so good! Well when the club started back in 2014 our main objective was to max air time for pilots and that has remained a priority. People want to fly, not watch tracks being repaired. First time pilots fly with us they quickly run out of batteries and the next time they come prepared! But any club is only as good as its members and their ability to get involved. We are lucky to have people like Elliot Naseby and Jon Timms helping to organise the club. On race days everyone gets involved and I’m so grateful for that.”             

 

BFPVRA “What else makes for a good club?”  

 

Richard Bloxam: After the members and the stick time, the flying site is key. We are fortunate at Delta Hawks to have access to four good flying sites. We have eight pilots in the air at once and if we need to we can run more pilots on adjacent sites.

 

 

 

BFPVRA: “You have seen a lot of international drone racing. How do the GB pilots compare?

 

Richard Bloxam: “Our pilots are world class. GB was early to adopt drone racing and our density of population has also helped us to train and compete. Gary Kent won his first event at our first Delta Hawks race back in 2015. Since then Gary has gone on to great things of course and many others have gone on to have success at national and international level.

 

GB talent certainly shone through when our first BFPVRA international team (Alfie, Chris and Harry) competed at IDSC in Korea this year. They were competing against some teams that had far more experience at international level, but despite this they did great. Proof, if needed, of the talent in the UK.

 

Photo above Left to right : Harry Plested, Alfie Mitchel, Chris Knight and Richard Bloxam


BFPVRA: “Any observations about the UK club scene in general?”

 

Richard Bloxam: “We are seeing quite a few clubs springing up now, but I would like to see many more. Some of our Delta Hawks members travel hours to reach us. I’d like to see a club within thirty minutes of everyone!

 

BFPVRA: Where do you see the hobby heading and is it a hobby or a sport? 

 

Richard Bloxam: “I would say that it’s a hobby that is growing into a sport. There is the present grass roots racing scene, where most of the spectators are family and friends. That’s the hobby side and it will always have a valued place. But to turn it into a serious sport requires support from commercial organisations that can fund and grow it. We only become attractive to sponsors once we have the audience experience right. Presently, whilst the pilot experience is really exciting, drone racing can be confusing and uninspiring for the spectator. We need to do more to help spectators to follow the action, their favourite pilot or team. We have lots of ideas in the pipeline to assist with this…

 

BFPVRA: “What else will take things forward?” 

 

Richard Bloxam: “On line streaming is very important. So if you look at the gaming world, there are millions of viewers watching certain games. Well we can replicate that in drone racing. We have started to Livestream all of our events and hope that this will bring further sponsorship and people wanting to try drone racing.”

 

BFPVRA: “Yes it’s a real plus that a lot of people in the scene are great with tech. What do you see as some of the challenges for the hobby?” 

 

Richard Bloxam: “Drone racing must remain inclusive and it must be welcoming regardless of age, background or gender. As more people arrive, that’s something we must continue to work hard on.”

 

BFPVRA: “That sounds good, but how do we achieve it?”  

 

Richard Bloxam: “Well at Delta Hawks we have noticed that our practice events are no longer attracting newcomers. We think they feel intimidated by the gap between their ability and that of our regular members. To combat this we are going to commit to having a separate track or practice area dedicated to beginners and less experienced pilots. We will also be offering technical workshops and where possible we will run events with a “club” and “pro” category element.”   

 

BFPVRA: “That’s a perfect example. Thank you very much for your time Richard. It was very insightful.” 

 

Richard Bloxam: “You are very welcome.”

 

If you would like BFPVRA to promote your club and activities then please get in touch via email Chris.Morley@bfpvra.org or contact me on facebook

Proposed Constitution/Rules & EGM Announcement

by Richard Rowland

Please find linked below the proposed changes for both the BFPVRA Constitution and 2019 Rules.

It would be great to hear your feedback and thoughts on the proposed changes.

The committee will be holding an EGM on Sunday 18/11/2019 at 20:00, to vote in the acceptance of these changes to the constitution and discuss amendments to rules. Members will be able to attend the meeting electronically via a video stream and chat, Full instruction will be given. If you cannot attend the meeting you will be able to vote either for or against the changes via email. The link to vote and attend the meetings will be emailed out to our members only, so if you wish to have your say on the future of drone racing in the UK then please make sure you are a current member here.

If members have any other items they wish to be discussed at the EGM then please email them to richard@bfpvra.org by November 4th.

Proposed Constition – CLICK HERE

Proposed Rules – CLICK HERE

Record of Amendments for both – CLICK HERE

Link to folder containing existing documents – CLICK HERE

New Committee Member – Gavin Syme

by Benjamin Blackburn

BFPVRA Role: Scottish Secretary

The BFPVRA would like to welcome Gavin Syme as a new addition to the committee. After a month long process of nominations and votes by the Scottish pilots, we could like to congratulate Gavin who has now joined us in the role of Scottish Secretary.

BFPVRA Responsibilities:  The Scottish Secretary will represent the community in decisions made regarding the rules and regulations for drone racing and encourage and assist race organisers to run events with “Qualifying Event” status with the aim of giving Scottish pilots another route in to the British Championship alongside the Scottish Nationals.

A little bit more about Gavin Syme

I have been messing about with drones since the end of 2016, starting with terrible toys and micro drones to begin learning as I had not been into any flying rc previously, when I finally got a full size mini quad I knew I wanted to get into racing, I have spent a lot of time trying to get the Edinburgh racing community moving and putting on races and have been helping out with the last couple SDRL events (Scottish Nationals). For the future I’m hoping to speak to all the groups of Scottish racers and try bring them together and work together to make a stronger Scottish racing scene.

New Committee Member – Will Annison

by Benjamin Blackburn

BFPVRA Role: Event Safety and Technical Director

The BFPVRA would like to welcome Will Annison as a new addition to the committee. Will has joined us in a dual role as both technical wizard on all things drone racing including the Live Time software and also as Event Safety Officer

BFPVRA Responsibilities: keeping drone racing safe and fun, producing the safety rules to achieve that and helping clubs with the technical side of the timing and event software so they can run the best possible events.

A little bit more about Will Annison

How I see BFPVRA benefiting drone racing: Growing drone racing, enabling clubs to put on the best events they can for all pilots at all levels. More packs flown equals more happy pilots!

Favourite racing moment(s): Realising I had somehow made it to the A final and looking at the pilots I was up against thinking I have no hope here… and then not coming last in the final crossed the line in 4th best result ever such a good day!

Best memory of a crash: Doing a lot of race control means I get to see lots of crashes but one that has stood out was Jacob Blakemore trying to victory powerloop the finish gate… and ploughing into it at full tilt.

Any other drone related hobbies: whoops, wings, cars… if I can strap a camera to it and fly / drive it I’m going to do it! I also love tinkering and making stuff and FPV is an inspiration for this.

Scottish Secretary Votes

by Benjamin Blackburn

Once again thank you for all the nominations for the Scottish Secretary of the BFPVRA. We have 2 nominees standing for the position. Your choices are either Ian Petrie or Gavin Syme.

We are accepting votes from the members of the Scottish drone racing community, to be eligible to vote you must be a member of one of the Scottish fpv/drone racing groups on facebook.

You will need to format your email like the example below :

I <your name>, from <facebook group name> wish to vote for <your chosen nominee name> to be the Scottish Secretary of the BFPVRA.

All nominations need to be sent to our temporary email address scottishvotes@gmail.com before the 25th October 2018. We will confirm receipt of your vote.

British Championship Qualifying Event Points System

by Benjamin Blackburn

Having reviewed the points system used for the 2018 season we would now like to introduce our proposals for a new points strategy to be used for 2019. During the last season points were awarded based on how many pilots you beat at an event. If you went to a 36 pilot event you could score 36 points by coming 1st, if you went to Weston Park you could score 66 points due to the amount of pilots competing. This means for those that couldn’t attend or who did attend but didn’t do particularly well at a larger capacity event would always remain out of reach of the top positions of the British Championship Qualifying Event Leaderboard. The new proposed system still recognises that pilots must still be rewarded at the larger events but not by so much that it puts the top pilots out of reach for the whole season.

With the new points system LESS points is better. The pilot with the lowest score will be at the top of the British Championship Qualifying Event Leaderboard. The new points system is still going to be based on the results from your best 3 ‘British Championship Qualifying Events’. If you do not attend 3 qualifying events for the 2019 season you will be awarded the maximum 100 points for each. The formula for working out the amount of points you earn at an event is :

(a*100)/b

a = your position
b = the amount of competitors

Then we round the sum to the nearest 0.5

So for example if you came 6th from 36 pilots : (6×100)/36 = 16.5

This formula works regardless of how many competitors are at the event, to see a points spreadsheet for the most common pilot numbers then please look at this example.

 

Both pilots and race organisers do not have to worry about the maths as this will be calculated for you by us when we are adding your ‘Qualifying Event’ data to the new official British Championship Qualifying Event Leaderboard.

We welcome any comments and feedback for these new proposals either through our facebook page or by emailing chairman@bfpvra.org

 

Scottish Secretary

by Benjamin Blackburn
 
Due to an unknown issue with our email it has become apparent that at least one nomination was never received. This email has been verified as sent over a week ago to the correct address.
 
For this reason we now have at least 2 willing nominees for the position of Scottish secretary, Ian Petrie and Gavin Syme so a vote will be required, however we will allow a period of 48 hours for any further ‘missing’ nominations to come forward before the voting begins.
 
We have set up a temporary email address to use scottishvotes@gmail.com and you can also message us though the facebook page. If you previously nominated someone other than Ian or Gavin before the official nominations closed then please let us know before the weekend is over.

Monthly Update

by Richard Rowland

As a continued effort to keep you all up to date on what is happening and the work that the committee is doing I will be aiming to do regular updates for you all to ask questions on and give your opinions on what you would like to see happen.

In the past week since the AGM, the new committee has been busy sorting all the admin work that needs doing before anything else can happen. Everyone has been given access to their email address, so they can be contacted directly, (chairman@bfpvra.org treasurer@bfpvra.org secretary@bfpvra.org and membership@bfpvra.org) the forms to change ownership of bank and Paypal have been sent off and the new committee all have been given access to the associations FaceBook page and website.

The committee has gone through the constitution and suggested some needed updates. The proposed changes will be sent out to our members soon for review and feedback. With the aim of calling an EGM before the end of the year to make any needed changes.

To improve relationships and expand the knowledge that the BFPVRA has, the committee has reached out to our friends in Scotland asking for nominations to get a Scottish Secretary on board the committee. A vote will be held later this month.

The points system used to rank pilots in the British Championship qualifying events has been reviewed to see if there is a fairer way to allocate points. The aim is to make the gap at the top of the table closer, so it is more competitive and a pilot can not run away by just winning a single big event. The proposed changes will be available soon for feedback and comments. Along side this change there will also be an Official British Championship leader board hosted on the association’s website displaying only members current qualifying score.

Lee has written an article about the 2018 British Championship for the CLEAPSS Futureminds e-magazine that gets circulated around 23,500 schools. Hopefully this will raise awareness and spike the interest of the next generation of racing pilots. (previous editions can be found here: https://dt.cleapss.org.uk/Resources/FutureMinds/)

There has been lots of discussion about the committee’s mandate and the best way to move things forward. With such a big task and great aspirations, it will be a slow process. I will update you all as things happen and the committee will always be interested in your opinions and feedback.

 

 

 

 

British Championship 2018 Results.

by Matthew Evans

Congratulations to all 59 participants who competed at the British Championships of 2018 at BMFA Buckminster. Here are the following national standings for this year, results are based on Finals for All, with the top 6 finalists competing in a 3-race final.  A massive congratulations to our new UK Champion Leo Whitfield who performed superbly all day and took home the win, as well as being the top qualifier and completing the most laps.

Here’s the complete finishing order.

1st Leo Whitfield
2nd Chris  Knight
3rd Matthew  Evans
4th Rob Saxton
5th Jonathan Rogers
6th Adam Gooch
7th Alfie Mitchell
8th Daniel Peters
9th Harry Holmes
10th Matt Brimfield
11th Karl Payne
12th Christopher Grimes
13th Jake Foreman
14th Marc  Booth
15th James Bowles
16th Alex Kubrak
17th Ben Williamson
18th Ali Barratt
19th Joe Wade
20th Luke Kirkham
21st Sean Walpole
22nd Jacob Blakemore
23rd Elliot Naseby
24th Bash Hussain
25th Rik Leigh
26th Oliver Peters
27th Tom Scott
28th Nicholas Gomez
29th Daniel Pingstone
30th Phil Brown
31st Kelsey Hunt
32nd Warren Jeffs
33rd Simon White
34th Richard Green
35th Lui Evans
36th Jonathan Timms
37th Paul Loannou
38th Joe Meehan
39th Richard Bloxam
40th Anthony Harte
41st Matthew Feast
42nd Will Mortimer
43rd Richard Norris
44th Dave Palmer
45th Steve Looker
46th William Annison
47th David Allen
48th Brian Barrett
49th Chris Grant
50th Ben Drew
51st Lee Robinson
52nd Kevin Whelan
53rd Steve Rhodes
54th Chris Morley
55th Joshua McClure
56th Matthew  Stubbs
57th Rhys Barber
58th Alex Long
59th Martin Price

 

Image may contain: Chris Knight, Leo Whitfield and Matthew Evans, people smiling, people standing

We hope you’ll join us next year, good luck and get practicing!